The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower) has announced that it is establishing an Institute for Health Computing that will focus on artificial intelligence and advanced computing to further develop the field of precision medicine and improve health care for patients across the state.
The new institute will be located in North Bethesda under the combined leadership of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), in collaboration with the University of Maryland Medical System and Montgomery County, Maryland.
The Institute for Health Computing is the newest initiative from MPower, a collaboration that was created in 2012 to join UMB’s and UMCP’s academic strengths in order to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, promote interdisciplinary research, and create more educational opportunities for students.
The institute is expected to open in leased space early next year, with completion of new laboratory and office space projected for 2028. Initial funding includes $25 million from MPower. The Montgomery County government will kick in an additional $40 million to develop the permanent site.
The new institute will formulate algorithms that will guide highly personalized patient care for illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, risks of opioid overdose and other health conditions. De-identified data from about 1.8 million patients will be used to generate “clinical analytics that may ultimately lead to faster diagnoses, improvements in how therapeutics are utilized and a range of other improved outcomes for our patients, as well as patients all over the world,” according to University of Maryland Medical System President and CEO Mohan Suntha.
In addition, the institute will increase the availability of telehealth, particularly in rural communities. Virtual reality technology is rapidly changing medical education by enabling medical students to practice clinical interventions in virtual environments. “By leveraging these emerging technologies, the institute will serve as a test bed for lifesaving training modules before they are deployed on a global scale,” said Amitabh Varshney, Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at UMCP.
“Scaling up research to address grand challenges in the life sciences has shifted from collecting data to using cutting-edge technology to discover meaningful patterns hidden in the data,” according to Darryll J. Pines, UMCP president. “This institute will tap world-class researchers who are exploring artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality to collaborate with medical experts, leading to broad impacts on human health and well-being.”